Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Intervention Delivered by Educators for Children With Speech Sound Disorders Purpose The aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of computer-assisted input-based intervention for children with speech sound disorders (SSD). Method The Sound Start Study was a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Seventy-nine early childhood centers were invited to participate, 45 were recruited, and 1,205 parents and educators of 4- and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 12, 2017
Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Intervention Delivered by Educators for Children With Speech Sound Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharynne McLeod
    Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia
  • Elise Baker
    The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Jane McCormack
    Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia
  • Yvonne Wren
    Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit, United Kingdom
    University of Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Sue Roulstone
    Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit, United Kingdom
    University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Kathryn Crowe
    Charles Sturt University, Sydney, Australia
  • Sarah Masso
    Charles Sturt University, Sydney, Australia
  • Paul White
    University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Charlotte Howland
    The University of Sydney, Australia
    Charles Sturt University, Sydney, Australia
  • Disclosure: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest. The authors acknowledge that Yvonne Wren and Sue Roulstone developed the Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter software used in this project; however, they were not directly involved in the implementation of this project, had no contact with participants, and did not participate in data collection or analysis.
    Disclosure: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest. The authors acknowledge that Yvonne Wren and Sue Roulstone developed the Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter software used in this project; however, they were not directly involved in the implementation of this project, had no contact with participants, and did not participate in data collection or analysis. ×
  • Correspondence to Sharynne McLeod: smcleod@csu.edu.au
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Amy Neel
    Associate Editor: Amy Neel×
Article Information
Development / Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 12, 2017
Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluating the Effectiveness of Computer-Assisted Intervention Delivered by Educators for Children With Speech Sound Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 1891-1910. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0385
History: Received October 4, 2016 , Revised January 25, 2017 , Accepted February 20, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 1891-1910. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0385
History: Received October 4, 2016; Revised January 25, 2017; Accepted February 20, 2017

Purpose The aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of computer-assisted input-based intervention for children with speech sound disorders (SSD).

Method The Sound Start Study was a cluster-randomized controlled trial. Seventy-nine early childhood centers were invited to participate, 45 were recruited, and 1,205 parents and educators of 4- and 5-year-old children returned questionnaires. Children whose parents and educators had concerns about speech were assessed (n = 275); 132 children who were identified with phonological pattern-based errors underwent additional assessment. Children with SSD and no difficulties with receptive language or hearing, typical nonverbal intelligence, and English as their primary language were eligible; 123 were randomized into two groups (intervention n = 65; control n = 58), and 3 withdrew. The intervention group involved Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter software (Wren & Roulstone, 2013) administered by educators over 9 weeks; the control group involved typical classroom practices. Participants were reassessed twice by a speech-language pathologist who was unaware of the initial assessment and intervention conditions.

Results For the primary outcome variable (percentage of consonants correct), the significant mean change from pre- to postintervention for the intervention group (mean change = +6.15, p < .001) was comparable in magnitude to the significant change for the control group (mean change = +5.43, p < .001) with a small between-groups effect size for change (Cohen's d = 0.08). Similar results occurred for measures of emergent literacy, phonological processing, participation, and well-being.

Conclusion Computer-assisted input-based intervention administered by educators did not result in greater improvement than typical classroom practices.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP130102545 (awarded to S. McLeod, E. Baker, J. McCormack, Y. Wren, and S. Roulstone) and funding from the New South Wales Department of Education Grant (awarded to S. McLeod, Y. Wren, E. Baker, J. McCormack, K. Crowe, S. Masso, and S. Roulstone). The authors thank Felicity McKellar and the participating educators, parents, and children.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access